Labour is the least trustworthy party, poll suggests

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Labour is the least trustworthy of the main political parties and owes its lead in the opinion polls largely to the successful economy, a survey indicated yesterday.

Labour is the least trustworthy of the main political parties and owes its lead in the opinion polls largely to the successful economy, a survey indicated yesterday.

The ICM poll, commissioned by the BBC, found voters trusted the Government much less now than they did a year ago at the time of the general election.

The survey also claimed the public felt the Government had failed to live up to expectations in important areas such as transport, health and education. The economy was the only area where 50 per cent said expectations had been met.

But of the 1,000 adults questioned for the Today programme on Radio 4, 46 per cent said they would still choose Tony Blair as Prime Minister; 30 per cent favoured Gordon Brown.

The study ties in with other polls showing Labour has lost voters' trust because of a series of controversies over party donors, spin doctors and Stephen Byers.

The most worrying statistic for Downing Street will be that 36 per cent of those polled felt Labour was the least trustworthy party; 29 per cent felt the Conservatives were worse.

Almost exactly a year after the 2001 general election, the survey said 54 per cent had less trust in the Government now than a year ago, with the figure among Labour voters at 42 per cent. Overall, only 15 per cent said they trusted the Government more.

On public services, 81 per cent said Labour had failed to live up to expectations on transport. The figures were 65 per cent on health and 51 per cent on education.

Theresa May, the Tory transport spokeswoman, said the figures proved the public were fed up with the exaggerated claims of Labour in its first term. She said: "People have now seen this constant failure to deliver, to hype up expectations and simply not deliver on promises."

But Martin O'Neill, Labour chairman of the Commons Trade and Industry Select Committee, said the poll was weak because it failed to rank the importance of each issue. "I think this poll is somewhat flawed but on transport we have a long way to go. It isn't surprising we should be hammered on this subject."

The poll contrasted with a separate survey on Monday by Mori, which claimed the public was increasingly confident the Government could improve public services.

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